The Emirates Diplomatic Academy - the UAE’s leading diplomatic training and research institution - held a panel discussion on the topic ‘Peace-making through Diplomacy: Lessons from Colombia’.
The session was attended by H.E. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, H.E. Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador of the UAE to the Kingdom of Belgium, as well as a number of ambassadors and diplomatic envoys.
Speaking on the panel were H.E. María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, Foreign Minister of Colombia, H.E. Børge Brende, former Foreign Minister of Norway and now President of the World Economic Forum, and Mr. Jeffrey Feltman, United Nations Under-Secretary for Political Affairs.
The speakers discussed the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) following 52 years of conflict. They highlighted the important diplomatic role played by Norway, Cuba and the United Nations in the four-year negotiations, and underlined the courage that had been shown by Colombian political leaders in order to reach a successful agreement.
The panel spoke of the disarmament operations of FARC, which were coordinated with the United Nations, the reintegration of FARC members into civilian life, which is still ongoing, as well as a number of programmes initiated to manage the post-conflict era and rebuild the social fabric and unity.
H.E. Bernardino León, Director General of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, said: "The discussions provided powerful insights into the Colombian peace negotiations and the vital role that was played by international diplomacy.” H.E. León went on to praise the historic peace agreement in Colombia, as it marks an important milestone for Colombians.
H.E. León added: I extend the deepest gratitude to our speakers and to H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash for attending this important session.
The panel was held as part of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy's ongoing programme of events involving Emirati and international speakers and providing an interactive platform to discuss international affairs with the Academy's students and guests.